It’s a Tuesday evening in late June. The sun still is shining brightly against a cornflower blue sky through puffy, white clouds. The wind is blowing gently through the trees. The last, sweet smell of strawberries fills the air as the end of the picking season approaches.
Christopher and I drove out to a family farm in nearby Coopersville yesterday evening to take advantage of inexpensive ($1.50 a quart), beautiful, pick-your-own strawberries before the plants are bare.
We parked near the house, grabbed a tray of quart-sized baskets and headed toward the middle of the field. We each picked a section of a row, squatted down (and eventually sat down) and set to work. We pushed through leaves and stems, lifted up drooping plants and squinted in the bright sunshine to reveal a bounty of berries.
We were out in the field for only about a half-hour, but we managed to fill six quarts with berries.
We headed back toward the house and settled up with the lady of the farm. She was such a doll and charged us just $7.50 for our six quarts because “(we) didn’t fill ‘em up too much.” She told us we were welcome to come back anytime the rest of the week, as they won’t be open for picking after the weekend, when the strawberry season ends. I told her we had our fill…but I can’t be too sure until I get to work, right?
I’ve got the box of berries resting on the kitchen counter right now, but I plan to separate them later—some for freezing for smoothies, some for baking this weekend and some for snacking in the next few days. I think I might even separate some of the unripe berries and leave them out in the sun to redden up a bit.
I’m so glad we went. We almost decided to scrap our plans to save time and money, but we couldn’t pass up the beautiful weather, the scrumptious (and cheap!) strawberries and the chance to spend a little time together outside in the sun.
We’ve got cherry season right around the corner here in Michigan. I think I’ll make a plan to find a picking place and head out in a few weeks. Yum!
What produce are you most looking forward to?